Whatever have I been doing to be so quiet lately, eh? It's Bill Hooker's fault, really. Bill went and posted about an online game where the players take on virtual identities within the game's world. One player had recently switched her avatar's appearance from being a white-skinned blonde to that of a custom-designed black woman. She reported afterward on how differently some of the other players treated her. Which was sort of sadly predictable and, in an environment that includes a greatly expanded range of sentient life forms available to players, surprising.
I followed the links around, and lo! the game included a Mac client. How often does that happen? So I signed on and started playing. Sure enough, a great majority of the avatars people created were some variant on tall-thin-white. I went for short and kind of darkish-reddish, and after getting well on, put my avatar through a sex change. Y'know, as in, "What's it like to be treated as a person instead of a woman?" but without having to pack or bind my tits or starve my hips away.
If chatting with strangers and doing your hair and nails was all that a player did, it wouldn't be much fun for me, but as I found out pretty quickly, you can make stuff. And then you can script the stuff to do all sorts of things.
So I've been playing a week and a half now, mostly exploring and building. I made a canoe, and butchered several scripts getting it to work (for a day it sported an ejection seat that sent the canoe one direction and my avatar in another; I never did find all the canoes I lost that way.), and have found it an excellent way of getting around. The game world itself is huge; while there's no shortage of the sort of places one finds in the really cheap commercial sections of town, there's also strange and fantastic buildings, art, toys, and quiet meadows, forests, seas and lakes and streams... some areas have gone in for creatively anachronistic role-play to one degree or another, others are less, um, classifiable. And that's just from the little I've explored so far.
My avatar has himself morphed from being a scruffy beachcomber bashing on a canoe to a Dread Pirate. Seriously. Well, not so seriously. Seriously tongue-in-cheek, perhaps. No one dreads him, that's for sure, he's still pretty short. But yesterday he came across a ready-made Pirate Suit, so perhaps he'll get more piratical respect.
playing games and listening to The Lucky One from the album "New Favorite" by Alison Krauss & Union Station